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  #1  
Old August 31st, 2007, 06:27 AM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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Dog-to-dog bite injury

My 7-yr-old border collie, Lucy, (who weighs about 40 pounds, small for a border collie) was attacked by a Doberman today who clamped down hard on the back of her neck and wouldn't let go. Her owner finally got her away. We had to get away before he lost control of the Doberman again, but it appeared Lucy was okay except badly shaken up. She walked fine, no active bleeding though there was blood on the side of her neck, and I took her to the vet to have it checked. The vet is on vacation and won't be back until Tuesday, and the nearest other vets are about 60 miles away over mountain roads, so I thought it would be safe to wait until Tuesday.
When we got home, she got under our trailer where it is difficult to reach her or check her out more thoroughly. She didn't eat all day, but that isn't unusual when she is very upset. I finally decided that I could get her out by starting on our evening walk, which she loves. She did come out but took only a few steps before going back under the trailer...I was too far away to catch her. At that time, she walked kind of folded up, with her head down, and maybe some loss of function in her hind legs. Now I really am worried about her.
If she won't come out when it gets light, I will have to dismantle some of the skirting on the trailer and crawl in after her, and then take her to a vet as soon as they are open.
I just wondered what you could tell me in the meantime about this kind of injury. I have read on the internet that a dog could apply 200-400 pounds of pressure into its bite and it could result in a crush injury and neurological damage. It really is hard to find anything on the internet, though, about this kind of injury. I have had a background in medical terminology and figure a dog and human might have a similar musculoskeletal structure and similar injuries, and that worries me even more!
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:44 AM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Hello lanwhite, welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to hear about Lucy's injury. I would be very worried as well. I think it would be very wise to get her to another vet for x-rays as soon as possible.

Did you get the name/address of the owner of the Doberman? I would assume that he/she would be responsible for any vet fees incurred in the treatment of your dog. Please don't delay in having Lucy seen by a vet. that she will be fine.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 12:35 PM
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I agree ~ she needs to see a Vet asap. Although she may have been walking with an odd gait because she was under the trailer (I presume she can't completely stand up under there) and may have been stiff ~ better safe than sorry given the possibility of nerve or skeletal damage. And, given that there was a puncture and you weren't able to flush it right away and then it was left exposed while she was under the trailer, you may also want antibiotics.

Let us know how you make out !
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:39 PM
punkyamberlea punkyamberlea is offline
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She might have some nerve damage, with edrenalin (sp) she may have been fine right after. I will try and get her out and get her looked at. Also get the name of the dobbies owner, that should be reported. Amber
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Old September 1st, 2007, 01:35 AM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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Today I dismantled some of the skirting on the trailer to get to her but she kept moving. As soon as I got one board off, she was gone somewhere else. This was actually a relief to me, as it showed she could at least move around okay and was fully aware of what was going on! I finally realized that she would have to come out on her own, she could move faster than I could crawl around under there, and she did not intend to get caught and let me poke around on her wounds. I think she lost a lot of faith in me too that I was standing right there and still couldn't protect her from getting hurt.
There is space for her to stand up, barely, under the trailer.

I decided to go back a stronger flashlight, so I got in my car and started it up, and then she came out. To my relief, she was walking normally and did not even walk with a limp, so it was apparently pain that caused her to walk that way yesterday instead of neurological damage. She always wants to go with me in the car wherever I go, so I thought maybe I could get her in and take her to a vet, but she got back under the trailer the minute I walked her way again.

Later on tonight, she finally came out and came inside, a little stiff getting up the two steps into the trailer but otherwise okay. She ate everything in sight and let me look at her wounds a bit and apply some Neosporin. The wounds appear very deep but missed the spinal column area and are more on the right side of her neck, although there might be more puncture wounds that I can't see. I was unable to do much, and I think it will require a vet to shave some fur there and abrade some of it, maybe under anesthesia, as it seems very painful. The little bit I could do is not nearly enough to stop any infection, and the fur at her neck is very thick and would inhibit the healing. (She is a long-haired border collie, with a thick mantel of fur around her neck).

I will call around at the vets in the area tomorrow, but since it is Labor Day weekend, I doubt if any will be available except in emergencies, and this may not be considered an emergency they would see her for. At least I will talk to them and see what they say, but it might be that I will have to see my vet Tuesday at the earliest.

The owner of the Doberman is quite poor and I'm sure could not pay anything toward the vet bill. Maybe I will buy him a good leash for the next time he takes them out for a walk. She has a brother who is a good friend of Lucy's, he is a gentle dog. We go by their house every time we take a walk along the nature trail. The two dogs always ran free over a wide area and created trouble, killing deer for the fun of it (or at least she did), but lately they have been tied up. The owner said she had not done anything like that before, but I have a feeling he didn't voluntarily restrain them from running loose...he was asked by law enforcement to do so for some reason, and he was just taking them for a rare walk. They see Lucy taking walks every day and maybe that's why the Doberman hates Lucy so much. We can and probably will vary our route so as to not go by their place again in the future. I hesitate to report this because it might mean the end of all walks for them, and that would be sad. I just want a leash put on her so it doesn't happen again. I also know that once she has gotten the best of Lucy she won't hesitate to do it again. So, I don't know what to do about them.

Their owner is a bit of a mess. He has himself gotten into trouble with police, mostly for drinking related problems, and is hardly able to manage himself much less his animals. He allows four horses to run free too, and he is always being reported for that. Except for that, he does take care of them (feeding and watering them, etc.).
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Old September 1st, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I'm glad she finally came out from under the trailer and that there doesn't appear to be any nerve damage. Hhunger is a huge motivator isn't it ? While you are no doubt right about the Vet bill, you should probably ask to see the Doberman's rabies innoculation certificate. I hope you are able to find a Vet today ~ I'd worry about infection along with the pain factor.

You are in a tough position if the owner is that negligent, law enforcement have already given them warnings. There's a good chance the animals will be apprehended if you report the owner. Only you know the circumstances and will have to decide if that is in the dogs' best interest to be removed from the environment. What's the dog rescue movement like in Idaho ? is there a Doberman-specific group ? Perhaps you could discreetly leave them the information in their mailbox. If you think they respond to the riot-act being read to them with ultimatums about becoming a responsible dog owner that's also a thought. Or if this person has any reasonable-minded friends in or around your neighbourhood, maybe you could appeal to them for help in dealing with this person.

Keep us posted !
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Old September 1st, 2007, 09:28 PM
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glasslass glasslass is offline
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In this type of injury, often the skin is pulled away from the underlying lean muscle of the neck. Very painful. A vet will often run a drainage tube under the skin from a puncture wound on one side of the neck and out a puncture wound on the opposite side of the bite. This allows accumulating fluids to drain, prevents swelling, and the injured tissues are able to heal. You have to keep the site cleaned by swabbing with a hydrogen peroxide/water solution because of the open wound. After the wound heals from the inside out, the tube is removed (easily) and the punctures heal. The dog will also get oral antibiotics. Sounds icky, but will heal nicely.

This was my baby 3 years ago with a similar injury. The second photo was taken a week later.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 03:40 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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I was not able to see any vet this weekend so will have to wait until Tuesday. Lucy is back to normal now in every way except for the wounds, no pain at all it seems.
We took a walk along the same route as always yesterday, me armed with a big stick, and she was fine with it, not even any nervousness, and eager for the walk. So now the only thing will be to control the infection, which the vet will have to do, since she won't allow me to do anything beyond a quick inspection. The area seemed to be itching yesterday, which I know indicates some healing, and she started to scratch them but quit because that apparently hurt. After she sees the vet, I imagine I will have to do something to prevent scratching while it heals. I know an abscess can form when the healing takes place on the surface, and there are smaller areas that look like the photo you posted, nothing as large as that. The thick fur may have helped prevent even worse injuries.
I don't think it is in the best interest of the other dogs to take them from their owner. Someone else might better train them, but they do have a close relationship with the owner, it appears. And I wouldn't want them to be constantly tied up without any walks at all. (The owner was about as shaken up as we were and constantly apologized...he may not dare take them out again, and that would be sad.)
I don't think there are any Doberman rescue groups around this part of Idaho...it's kind of remote from everything, surrounded by national forest, so there isn't much available for anything. The dogs also don't have any near neighbors...there is a large area with woods, river, and meadows, what we call "Indian land" (owned by tribal members and left undeveloped. Next to that is the town's nature trail, which is where we take walks. We are on an Indian reservation, the owner is a tribal member, and he lives on that land off by himself. This also presents a cultural factor, as the Indians here don't like fencing or tying anything up anyway...his attitude is more in tune with that than it is negligence, and I can sympathize with that. Even law enforcement usually looks the other way unless the animal is a problem or in danger, so that makes me wonder why they made him tie them up in the first place.)
Thanks for your help and concern for Lucy...it at least helped me not to feel so alone with this. I will let you know what the vet says on Tuesday. That will be a real relief to get it taken care of!
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Ian,I did not comment since I had no advice to offer,I just admire your compassion for this man and his dogs,often everything is not just black/white,hopefully everything will be ok with Lucy
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:32 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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That's easy to forget sometimes that not everything is black and white. I wish it were this time...that the dog was really vicious by nature and should be put down or that the owner was cruel to his dogs and they should be taken away...then I would have no problem reporting it. I sympathize with the dogs who once were free to roam everywhere they wanted and now are chained all day, then seeing my happy dog running free the way they remember doing. The nature trail is an area where dog owners allow their pets to run without a leash and we've had no problems. The dogs seem happy just for a chance to run and meet their friends on the trail. (My dog has more friends than I do!) But the Doberman sees this going on all the time and must hate us all for it! And her owner just wanted to take them for a happy run too. It just didn't work out right, that's all, and I can't say it was anyone's fault.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:38 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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I like your cat, by the way...a real beauty.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:49 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Ian--just a thought. I've found that a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle (a simple mister for indoor plants will do) is very effective in getting a dog's attention. If you get a small bottle and fill it with the mix, it would be easy to carry with you on a walk. Just spray it in the face of an attacking dog. If you accidentally spray your own dog, too, no real harm done--stings the eyes a bit and they hate the smell--but it could very well cause the other dog to break off an attack before you have to resort to a stick. Worth a try anyway?

I'm happy to hear that Lucy is feeling better! Good luck at the vet on Tuesday--with luck, the wounds are neither deep nor infected!
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:53 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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Thanks, I didn't know that and will give it a go! I know a lot of dogs will back off if you show them a stick, but it could work the other way too! Glad to know about the vinegar.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 09:51 PM
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I'm so glad Lucy is seemingly on the mend. Fingers crossed that no infection sets in and she just keeps on healing physically and emotionally.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 10:05 PM
t.pettet t.pettet is offline
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dog-to-dog

Perhaps a muzzle would enable the doberman some freedom while protecting other dogs from attacks.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t.pettet View Post
Perhaps a muzzle would enable the doberman some freedom while protecting other dogs from attacks.
True enough ~ as long as it is a basket-style muzzle so that the Dobie can still pant. Hopefully the owner would understand that it couldn't be left on longer than their walk along in the neighbourhood as the Dobie would still need to get a drink periodically.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 12:01 AM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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A muzzle is a great idea! I'd be willing to buy one for him, then we'd all win.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:32 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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I called the vet to make an appointment today and discovered he was STILL on vacation! So I finally was able to take her to another one.
Lucy is usually very good at the vets but not today. The problem came with the shaver. A nurse had to be called in to help me hold Lucy down while the vet worked, and Lucy gave it her best effort to get away from us and almost managed to do so several times! Once he had the hair all shaved away, we saw just how gross it was! The first thing we noticed was the smell, and then the maggots feeding on dead skin! (I SAID it was gross!)
There was a main gash that was very much deeper than I expected and very extensive, and several other smaller puncture wounds, some close to her throat. It took a long time to clean out the dead skin and remove the hair in the wounds so it could heal. It was infected, as I expected it would be, but once he had cleaned the wound it looked as if it would drain by itself, and he said it should heal okay. I am supposed to clean it once in awhile, now that I can see what I'm doing and keep it open to prevent abscesses. He gave her a shot and sent me home with antibiotics. He said it was a good thing I brought her in today.
By the way, he weighed Lucy at 32 pounds, smaller than the 40 pounds a few years ago. I think I will get her weighed every time I see the vet now, which haven't been doing. I think the Doberman must have weighed close to 80 pounds!
I do hope it will not be a great struggle to clean her wounds every day, otherwise I will have to find someone to help me do it!

Last edited by lanwhite; September 4th, 2007 at 07:35 PM.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:38 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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I called the vet to make an appointment today and discovered he was
STILL on vacation! So I finally was able to take her to another one.
Lucy is usually very good at the vets but not today. The problem came with the shaver. A nurse had to be called in to help me hold Lucy down while the vet worked, and Lucy gave it her best effort to get away from us and almost managed to do so several times! Once he had the hair all shaved away, we saw just how gross it was! The first thing we noticed was the smell, and then the maggots feeding on dead skin! (I SAID it was gross!)
There was a main gash that was very much deeper than I expected and very
extensive, and several other smaller puncture wounds, some close to her
throat. It took a long time to clean out the dead skin and remove the hair
in the wounds so it could heal. It was infected, as I expected it would be,
but once he had cleaned the wound it was obvious that it would drain by
itself, and he said it should heal okay. I am supposed to clean it once in
awhile, now that I can see what I'm doing and keep it open to prevent abscesses. He gave her a shot and sent me home with antibiotics. He said it was a good thing I brought her in today.
By the way, he weighed Lucy at 32 pounds, smaller than the 40 pounds a few years ago. I think I will get her weighed every time I see the vet now, which I haven't been doing. I think the Doberman must have weighed close to 80 pounds!
I do hope it will not be a great struggle to clean her wounds every day, otherwise I will have to find someone to help me do it!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Maggots look awful, but they can be very beneficial--they eat away the dead tissue and allow the wound to heal. It was maybe a very good thing that she was getting some maggot help. Gross as it is.

I'm glad to hear that Lucy has gotten some help and some meds! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the poor darlin! (And I hope she doesn't make wound cleaning too traumatic for you!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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While it's shaved you should take a few pictures of it ...just in case you need to rely on this incident in the future. One never knows what might happen and if there is a second incident, you may not be feeling nearly as compassionate towards the owner and the Doberman as you do now.

What did the Vet give you to flush the wounds?
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Old September 5th, 2007, 01:59 AM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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Please, someone delete the double post again. It happens when I edit my post, for some reason.
He said to wipe it out with a clean wet rag with maybe a little detergent with it and I could use Neosporin too. It is going to be a nightmare getting her to cooperate with this, but I know I do have to keep it open or spend a lot of money on drain tubes.
I was thinking the same thing about the maggots...I know they do eat dead flesh, and there was a lot of it. I have heard of maggots being deliberately used in medicine for that purpose, although I would cringe at something eating away on me! By the way, Lucy didn't even have a fever, another good sign.
Yes, the photos will be a good idea for tomorrow. I really need a 3D effect to get the full picture of what it's like! Like I said, it looks a lot worse than what I thought before he shaved it. He also said there were two more Doberman attacks on other dogs lately...wonder if it was the same dog. I haven't seen that many Dobermans around, and with the Dobie's owner suddenly tying them up, I'm real suspicious of it.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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Ian,hope Lucy will recover quickly and no drains are needed
I would hate the idea that this could happen again and if,like your vet says, it's happened several times to other dogs,maybe it's time to have a serious talk to this owner.
He was probably lucky he had to deal with you and not someone else.
I can understand your compassion for a lonely man,but if his dog might kill or seriously maim another,the risk is too great,IMO.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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That was good news about there being no fever. She's fighting the infection well, then.

Did you have any luck with your first attempt at cleaning the wound? We're rootin' for ya! Uncooperative pooches can be the to minister to!

Oh, and I think you can delete your own duplicate post--use the Edit button at the bottom of the post, then click on the "Delete this message" button that shows on the screen that comes up. (It's near the top.)
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Old September 5th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I suggest that even though you appear to have now found the site of the wound and dealt with it that you still keep a close watch on Lucy for signs of other damage. Our ESS was attacked by two teams of Siberian huskies and also seemed just badly shaken up. There were no visible bite wounds and she was stiff and sore the next few days just as your Lucy. But a month later she began SCREAMING in pain. Our Vet suspected a broken neck and sent us to a specialty Vet who could not find a sign of a break. Both Vets now believe the husky attack pinched a nerve (that would not show up on xray) and caused our poor little girl excruciating pain. Of the month delay between attack and screaming, they said that can happen. Our dog recovered but the pain returned periodically for years after, though not as badly. Out Vet believes some kind of damage was done to the vertebrae of her neck and the occasional wrong twist the wrong way made it hurt again.

Last edited by Longblades; September 5th, 2007 at 01:55 PM.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 12:22 AM
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I'm very glad Lucy is doing okay & you were able to get her in to the vet but I'm concerned by this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanwhite View Post
He said to wipe it out with a clean wet rag with maybe a little detergent with it
Not sure what detergent you are using but even antibacterial hand soap can be very drying esp for animal skin.

The vets' office should have a product they use in-clinic called "Hibitane Soap" this is used for cleaning wounds, pre surgical cleaning, it is very good antibacterial etc, it can be used in small amounts (it is strong) either straight or you can dilute it a bit with water - this is the best way so it doesn't dry out the skin. The vet should either give you some to use or sell it to you.

I used to buy a small bottle (they get it in huge bottles & can just put some in a little one for you) from my vet when I had Cally for cleaning his wounds from excessive feet washing (to the point of open sores ).
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Old September 6th, 2007, 09:48 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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It took me a while to finally maneuver Lucy onto the injured side...she was NOT cooperative about that in a purely passive-aggressive way (i.e. 32 pounds suddenly turned into 180 pounds through sheer force of will!), but when I finally did get her in position to see it, she let me do what I wanted. Nothing seems painful except the largest gash where there is a pocket where the skin has pulled away and formed a kind of flap...that's the best way I can describe it. She wouldn't let me do much with that one except swipe it once and put Neosporin on it. I didn't use detergent on them but just used a wet rag and then put in some Neosporin after cleaning it. Except for the largest gash, though, it was scabed over, so I tried to get that back open again. I picked out a little more fur from one. Today it seemed the swelling was quite a bit down from yesterday, there still does not seem to be any fever, and I am giving her 1/2 an antibiotic pill twice a day in hamburger or cheese. It is obviously itching, so she rolls in the dirt to see if that helps, and that is a problem keeping dirt out. I haven't cleaned it yet today but will again in a bit. It is not draining, so I'm thinking I might have to take her back in to get it draining? When my regular vet is back I think I will get it checked again in any case, even if it seems to be doing well. He is here only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is the only vet in town.
I wonder if there is a way to keep it from itching as it heals? I will also ask him for that Habitane soap...thanks.
Now that she knows what the game plan is, Lucy may not be as cooperative tonight. I may take her to the vet who treated her tomorrow to ask him to look at it again, just to be safe....I don't like that it isn't draining, but maybe it is okay. I just don't feel confident judging it myself.
I have been approaching the nature trail from a different direction until today when I went past the other dogs' home again. It does not appear that they are there any more. They are not tied up and not home loose, so either they are inside or gone. I am still carrying a big stick, in either case. My nephew is the county sheriff, so I may talk to him, and he can find out also about the other attacks in the area to see if this dog was responsible. I hope they have gone but will let him find out what he can and advise me on the best thing to do. Now that I know there have been other Doberman attacks in the area that this one might have been involved in, I may find my sympathies have been misdirected. It could be she wasn't involved with the others, but there arn't that many Doberman's here that I know about.
Longblades, that is awful! I did worry about nerve or spinal damage until we saw that there didn't appear to be any bites near the spinal column, but that doesn't mean it can't still show up later.
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  #28  
Old September 6th, 2007, 10:01 PM
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mummummum mummummum is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: The Hammer
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Ian I'm fairly certain you can buy Hibitane in the drug store. Look for it in the acne face soap section ~ it's an anti-bacterial but I'm pretty sure I've found it there (at least here in Ontario, I can find it there). Teraseptic is a similar product.

Keep us posted on her progress.
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  #29  
Old September 6th, 2007, 10:49 PM
lanwhite lanwhite is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 29
Thank you...I will try to find one of them in the drug store!


Hope this works...this is Lucy after a swim.
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  #30  
Old September 7th, 2007, 12:29 AM
markwyoming markwyoming is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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My dog was attacked (not too badly) by a Pit Bull the other day, in front of an Insurance Agency of all places, in Monterey CA. The sight of the Pit Bull attacking my beta female Chocolate filled me with so much rage I kicked the dog in the ribs as hard as I could... I cant imagine what I would have done to the dog and owner if it had been my child the dog decided to attack. I am taking in my pet tomorrow to have the draining on her wounds performed by the vet, and guess who will be paying? Not me.

Do not show sympathy toward this persons dog... or them if they are poor. Being poor doesn't directly correlate to being stupid does it? I am TOTALLY in favor of putting a bullet between the eyes of any pet that decides to attack (even my own if it came to it) and a baseball bat to any negligent owner head. We have enough dogs in this world... we can afford to lose the vicious ones.

Report the dog to animal control that attacked your Collie NOW!!! Who knows, next time it may be someone's baby girl or boy?

Last edited by markwyoming; September 7th, 2007 at 12:32 AM.
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